Benetton Treviso will welcome Connacht in the first stage of the Challenge Cup playoffs on Saturday. Here is everything you need to know about the game, including how to watch Benetton v Connacht.
Both teams are currently battling for a place in the knockout stages of their domestic league, URC, with Connacht sitting sixth and Benetton eight, one of those teams are more than likely going to make it to the playoffs. Maybe even both of them will finish in the top eight (first eight teams advance to the knockout stages).
Despite focusing on the URC, the Challenge Cup could be a good goal for these two teams.
When is Benetton v Connacht?
Benetton will face Connacht on Saturday the first of April at 3pm. It will not be televised. However it will be streamed on the EPCR website
Where is Benetton v Connacht?
The game will be held in Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso, North Eastern Italy.
Andy Friend's men will head into this match after a very controlled win over Edinburgh.
Two tries from Caolin Blade helped Connacht in the 41-26 win last week. They are on a good roll now and have won their last five league games.
In the Challenge Cup, they finished fifth in Group A, eight points ahead of sixth club Brive. A last day defeat to the Newcastle Falcons ruined their chances of winning all there European games this season.
Bundee Aki and his teammates will enter this game with a massive confidence boost looking back at their last results and they will hope to continue their European journey.
On the other hand, Benetton have been very strong this year as well. Despite a rough couple of games, they're still in with a chance to make it into the URC knockout stages.
Their last result was a 32-28 defeat at home to the Lions. The Italian team started of very well leading 21-10 at half-time. However they completely lost the plot in the second half conceding three tries and a penalty goal. They conceded 22 points only scoring seven in the last 40 minutes.
They have been outstanding in the Challenge Cup this year winning three out of their four games. Only an opening day defeat to Stade Francais ruined there chances of topping Group B. Nevertheless, finishing second meant they were supposed to have an easier draw. However, Benetton will still have a tough match against Connacht this weekend.
Andy Friend made six changes from Connacht's last game. Grand Slam winners Bundee Aki and Mack Hansen return in the starting 15. Alongside them, Levi Fifita, Paul Boyle and Tiernan O'Halloran all starting in this game after missing the Edinburgh game. Dave Heffernan will start after starting on the bench in Connacht's last game
🟢 𝙏𝙀𝘼𝙈 𝘼𝙉𝙉𝙊𝙐𝙉𝘾𝙀𝙈𝙀𝙉𝙏 🟢
The Connacht 23 for tomorrow's Challenge Cup clash in Treviso against @BenettonRugby 💪
Read more here: https://t.co/N5XUzfsRec#BENvCON I #ChallengeCupRugby pic.twitter.com/Klps148h0Z
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) March 31, 2023
Benetton have completely remastered their starting lineup as there are not less than ten changes in their starting 15. Those changes include the return of Italian national players Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Michele Lamaro, Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza and Giacomo Nicotera.
🦁 I 23 #Leoni scelti per la sfida di domani contro @connachtrugby
🏆 Ottavo di finale @ChallengeCup_
⌚️ 16:00 🇮🇹
🏟️ Stadio Monigo di Treviso
🖥 @SkySport Arena#wearelions #biancoverdi pic.twitter.com/CIVye8Hmcs
— Benetton Rugby 🦁 (@BenettonRugby) March 31, 2023